Our Two Pesos: $50.2 Million in USDOT TIGER Grants for Border Crossing Infrastructure….Thanks. Gracias. Más?
Today, US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced $1.5 billion in funds for the Department’s TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Grants — targeting 51 “high-priority, innovative transportation projects” around the United States. These are projects that were funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), and competed against nearly 1,400 total transportation-related project submissions.
Of the 51 projects that were announced today as receiving FY2009 funds, two specifically are for improving border crossing infrastructure: $30 million toward a $79 million project to replace the Black River Bridge (connecting Port Huron, Michigan, with Canada); and $20.2 million toward the nearly $450 million project to construct the new SR-905 freeway connecting San Diego (and Otay Mesa) with Tijuana, Baja California. While other projects funded under TIGER this year certainly will have a beneficial impact on North American trade bottlenecks in non-border regions (definitely a great need for the country as a whole — and very appreciated), the additional $50.2 million toward US border infrastructure is both sorely needed and only a small percentage of the billions in infrastructure improvements that are required to improve international trade and community crossings along both the US-Mexico and US-Canada borders. In order to continue improving North American competitiveness, this border infrastructure deficit must be addressed and planned for.
Secretary LaHood’s announcement today is good news for trade, and for improving transportation problems in 51 important projects around the US. FY2010 will have another $600 million in projects — we can hope that some of this might also go to border crossing infrastructure (…but more is needed). That’s our two-pesos.
A link to Secretary LaHood’s announcement can be found here: http://www.dot.gov/affairs/2010/dot3010a.htm